December 12, 2009

Lettuce Wraps with Hot & Sour Soup

I found the recipe for Vietnamese Pork Rolls (aka lettuce wraps) in the Cookie magazine article, 30 meals in 30 days, months ago but finally got around to trying it a couple of weeks ago. I really wish that I would have tried it sooner because it is absolutely delicious. I think it gives PF Changs' Lettuce Wraps a fun for their money.

The recipe calls for pork but I also made it with ground chicken and it was equally as good. Actually a little better in my opinion because the chicken is lower in fat.

Lettuce Wraps
For the rolls:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
8 sturdy leaves from a head of Bibb lettuce
1 carrot, cut into strips
1 cucumber, cut into strips
2 to 3 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

For the dipping sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 garlic clove
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice

1.In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté the garlic in the oil until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.
2.Add the pork, five-spice powder, soy sauce, and brown sugar and sautè until the meat is fully cooked and browned.
3.Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce by whisking the four ingredients in a bowl.
4.Serve in hand rolls fashioned out of the lettuce leaves. Garnish with the carrots, cucumber, scallions, and cilantro, with the dipping sauce on the side.

I served it with Hot and Sour Soup from Everyday Food's Great Fast Food cookbook; which is quickly becoming my favorite cook book. The recipes that I have tried so far are delicious and really are fast; this is helpful when you are chasing a toddler around while trying to cook.

Hot and Sour Soup
2 cans (14.5 oz) reduced sodium chicken stock
2 T soy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 t red pepper flakes
8 oz fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced (about 4 c)
3 to 4 T rice vinegar
2 T cornstarch
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 package firm tofu, cut into 1/4" cubes and drained well
2 T finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3 scallions thinly sliced

1. In a large (5 quart) pot, combine the broth, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 T of the vinegar and he cornstarch. Add to the pot; simmer, stirring until the soup is thickened, about 1 minute.
3. Add the egg through a slotted spoon and stir to form ribbons. Stir in the tofu. Remove from heat; let stand covered for 1 minute. Put the ginger in a small sieve and squeeze to release the juice into the soup (discard the solids). Taste; add remaining T of vinegar if desired. Serve sprinkled with the scallions.

Asian cooking at its best!

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